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Federal Officials Offer Reward After Bald Eagle Shooting in Delaware

Federal officials are offering a $2,500 reward for information about a bald eagle shooting in Delaware. 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating after someone found the injured bird in November last year in Blackbird State Forest Dulany Manor Tract. The state forest is located in the northern part of the state and does allow hunting. However, bald eagles are federally protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act.

The official press release says that after finding the bird, they brought it to the Tri-State Bird Rescue for rehabilitation. Unfortunately, they were not able to save the animal. They later found out the bird was shot and had bullet fragments in the neck and wing. 

Besides being a national symbol for the U.S., bald eagles are a success story of endangered species. More than 50 years ago, the number of eagles greatly declined and was on the brink of extinction. Wildlife officials say habitat destruction, illegal shooting, and insecticide were the main culprits. Efforts to stop the use of DDT, also known as dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, which is an insecticide, combined with more regulations and habitat restoration, has helped the number of bald eagles rebound. 

By 2007, the animal was plentiful enough to be no longer classified under the Endangered Species Act. However, under the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, killing a bald eagle can result in a fine of $100,000 and even a year of prison. 

If you have information about the Delaware incident, call 410-228-2476 or 1-844-FWS-TIPS (397-8477). You can also submit crime tips through the Fish and Wildlife website.

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